My Mom and Hero: Nora Shorkey on Hunting Season
Today I’m both honoured and inspired to share a few words that my biggest hero wrote exactly one year ago today. As much as I love fall and of course, Halloween, I always dread November because I know it means that hunting season begins and so many of the forest friends that live on my parents’ property will never be seen again.
Hunting season is actually what sparked my vegetarianism at eight years old. And I will always praise the times my mom would let me skip school so I could protest against it with my homemade picket signs at the busy four-way intersection nearby.
My heart truly aches for my poor mother every fall and even more so when I read her words.
Mom doesn’t even know I’m posting this either. So please be sure to tell her just how much you appreciated it in the comments below. 🙂
And now, without further ado, here is my mom, Nora Shorkey–my hero and biggest supporter–on hunting season.
November is the worst month of the year and my least favourite. There are a number of reasons why I dislike November. For starters, all of the flowers that have graced my flowerbeds all summer long get frozen and die. The grass turns brown, leaves fall from the trees, the daylight hours get shorter and there is a nip to the air reminding us that winter is just around the corner.
November means deer hunting season is here. In my area it begins the first Monday in November and lasts from two to three weeks depending on how plentiful the deer are. This year it will last for two weeks.
Today is Saturday; hunting season will begin on Monday. I have done all that I can to help save the deer that live on our property and surrounding area. Every year, the hunters release their hunting dogs several properties away in the hopes that the dogs will flush out the deer from the “safe” properties where they kill them once they leave our property. This breaks my heart. I despise hunting but I think I would feel a little better about it if dogs were banned.
A decade ago, I built a picket fence around a portion of our property (we live on 12 ½ acres of wooded land). The fence is four feet high and allows the deer to easily jump over it but designed to keep the dogs out. Every year I fill a hopper (a wooden feeder that allows the feed to spill out as the deer consume it) full of deer feed that I purchase at the local co-op store. It gives me comfort knowing that these beautiful creatures can find refuge here and if they just stay quiet, they can survive.
This was Jasper. He was adorable and unfortunately killed by the neighbours during hunting season when he was two years old.
You are probably thinking that I am sounding pretty depressed. I am not. At the end of the day on November 16th I will be my usual self. But until then, I will have a heavy heart. By then, all of the things that make me sad will be over. By then, there will have been one or two snowfalls covering up the old, dead grass and leaves and turning my little piece of forest paradise into a sparkling and white wonderland.
Come winter, all of the sadness will be gone and I can again enjoy watching my beautiful deer wander up to the house looking for a snack of feed.
I do hope they manage to escape the hunters’ bullets.
– Nora Shorkey
Be sure to check out some of my mom’s beautiful water colour paintings at www.norashorkeyart.com 🙂